"To help us find and help the areas of the community that are most at risk of fire, we use data from the census."
Riana Smitt at the London Fire Brigade explains how the service uses 2011 Census statistics:
My role is to look at the factors which influence fire risks within London. As part of our commitment and service to the community, we work with residents to help reduce and mitigate some of these risks. One way that we do this is through a community education programme, where we visit Londoners in their homes and tell them about fire risks and how they can help prevent a fire.
With over 3.2 million homes in London, this can be quite a task! To help us find and help the areas of the community that are most at risk of fire, we use data from the census. Because we know, for example, that areas with a higher population of elderly residents have a higher risk of injury or death if a fire occurs, we can use census data to identify these areas.
We combine the statistical census evidence with the in-depth community knowledge of our dedicated fire-fighters to successfully reduce the number of fires in London each year. Without census data, we wouldn't be able to ‘model’ our programme in such an effective way. That really does save lives.